Musings in the Dark: Horror 101: "The Incredible Doktor Markesan"


Horror 101: "The Incredible Doktor Markesan"

This is one of the handful of episodes that featured the host of Thriller, the great Boris Karloff, in the lead role as Doktor Konrad Markesan.  It is a genuine creepfest.  A young couple, Molly & Fred Bancroft, arrive at a run-down manor owned by Fred’s uncle, Konrad Markesan.  Molly and Fred have a whole $12 to their names and seek to get jobs at the university where Markesan once worked.  Markesan allows Fred and Molly to move in, but warns them that he is not to be disturbed and that they are not allowed out of their room at night.  Of course, Molly and Fred disobey and shit pops all the way off. 

Turns out that Doktor Konrad Markesan has found a way to raise the dead, and he is using his power to resurrect colleagues who went against him when they all worked at the university.  Markesan tortures his undead associates on a nightly basis.  One of them says something to the effect of, “Please let us rest!” and if you allow yourself to carry that thought out to its full implication, you know that it is absolutely horrific.  It also turns out that Markesan himself has been dead for years, but how he himself was resurrected is never explained. 

Fred escapes the house to confer with one of Markesan’s colleagues at the university (this scene is hilarious because it’s midnight and the professor is AT WORK IN FULL DRESS when Fred comes to visit), and it is here where he learns the truth about his uncle.  Fred stupidly left Molly alone and when he returns, he discovers that Markesan has murdered and zombiefied her as well. 

That last scene probably scared the shit out of viewers in 1962 and the horror of it cannot be denied. It’s a brilliant episode and showed just how hardcore Thriller could be with the right people in charge.  


  1. You can always depend on a man to leave you all alone at the worse possible time.


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